Sunday, May 21, 2017

Makeup Rehab and Recent Declutters

Looking at the above photo, which has the three palettes I recently decluttered from my collection, it honestly doesn't look like much. It's just three palettes. And that's funny because getting rid of these three palettes has felt like an immense feat, like I've cleaned out so much of my collection. 

When I started this blog, I had close to 30 large eyeshadow palettes. That wasn't counting smaller palettes or quads. I believe I successfully completed four months of my one week, one palette series, which means that I got through about 16 of those palettes. Several of my palettes were what I considered "companion" palettes, and I left them out of that project. 

Now, I am happy to say that, including custom palettes, I have 12 large eyeshadow palettes. Excluding custom palettes, I have 7 large eyeshadow palettes. I have 9 smaller palettes/quads/Melt Stacks. 

Of the large eyeshadow palettes that are not custom:
  • 1 is the Urban Decay Electric palette, which I consider a "special" palette that isn't really in the daily rotation 
  • 2 are companion palettes (Viseart Dark Matte and Kat Von D Pastel Goth)
  • 1 is a travel palette (Tartelette in Bloom)
  • 1 is a sentimental one (Tarte Rainforest of the Sea)

So, considering all of that, outside of the custom palettes, the large eyeshadow palettes that I own that are "regulars" are:
  • Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts
  • Viseart Bijoux Royale 

And so I guess that's why, even though the numbers are still high, it doesn't really feel all that high to me. 

Even in my smaller palette/quads:
  • 1 is the Melt Lovesick Stack, which I may end up decluttering
  • 2 are companion (Melt Rust Stack and Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye quad in Plum)
  • 1 is only for inner corner highlighting 
  • 1 is a travel palette 
  • 1 is a custom palette with bight colors, which I also consider a "special" occasion palette

Which leaves:
  • Milani Earthly Elements (slightly altered by me)
  • 2 Tom Ford quads

I know that all of that sounds high maintenance, and sure, I'll take that. But this is what works for me. I like to have companion palettes, I like to have travel palettes, and I like to have those bright palettes that I don't use all the time. 

Now, I also have a large collection of single shadows, so I am by no means saying that I have a small makeup collection, but I feel I am actually getting close to an ideal collection for me. And that's what I think sometimes gets lost in the "makeup rehab" community. Sometimes I think people take the urge to buy and instead apply that to decluttering or panning. And then those practices can get obsessive as well. Now, I am certainly a fan of decluttering and using up products, but I do think that it's more important to work through why the impulse to buy is there and to evaluate your collection over a long period of time. 

Some people are happiest with an enormous collection with drawers and drawers of palettes. Some people are happy with a minimal collection or two eyeshadows. And some people, like me, are happy with an admittedly large collection that is incredibly curated. And as I say that, I still think there is room for improvement and downsizing in my collection. But several months ago, I thought I had gotten to a healthy place. And I have decluttered more than 10 palettes since then. I think decluttering is a process. But I really think it's worth the time to evaluate your collection and really figure out what you personally need and what works best for you. 

So, here are the three latest declutters in my collection. 

Viseart Boheme Dream:

I spoke about this in my Weekend Looks post this week, so I won't go on too much here. Essentially, this is a great palette that I just wasn't using. I don't need light, medium, and dark versions of green, pink, and blue, and I already have the Electric Palette and the custom smaller palette with colors. I also have all of these neutral colors elsewhere in my collection. So, this palette was just sitting in my collection making me feel guilty for not using it. I don't need it, so out it goes. 

MAC C'Est Chic:

I've really enjoyed this palette and found it challenging to declutter. This was actually a birthday gift to myself last year, and that kind of thing adds a sentiment that makes this hard to get rid of. Honestly, that entire bottom row will get no use from me. All of the lighter shadows lack pigmentation, and the main colors that I used I have elsewhere in my collection. So, out it goes. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye:

This is admittedly cheating as I kept my favorite four shadows in this palette. I've mentioned often that the Melt Rust Stack is now my absolute favorite companion palette and that it has essentially replaced this palette. And that's true. Even still, there were still some warm (and cool) shadows that I wanted to keep. The white shadow that is in the cool (middle) quad is one of my favorite brow bone shadows of all time, so I knew I wanted to keep that. And the large cool and warm shadows and the orange shadow in the warm quad were the main reasons that I bought this palette. And because of that, I figured I might as well keep them. I don't need the rest of the palette, I just want what I like. And what's interesting is that when I look at the above palette, without these four shadows, this palette looks so boring to me! Not only that, it looks incredibly repetitive. 

I didn't have any room in any of my custom palettes, so I needed to declutter a bit more. Here was what this custom palette used to look like:

And this is what it looks like now:

(The round shadow that is no longer in this palette is Make Up For Ever Pearl. Don't worry, I didn't get rid of it. It has been moved into another palette.)

What I find amusing about this is that now I only have 8 shadows left from both Viseart Paris Nudes and Sultry Muse. And maybe all of these colors just came out of one of those palettes and I have unknowingly decluttering the other palette shadow by shadow. Either way, I find it funny that these palettes I once loved so much have been reduced to just 8 shadows. I'll also mention that this is my least favorite of all of my custom palettes, and I would not be surprised at all if I decluttered this entire thing in the future. But for now, it stays. 

So ultimately, while I am only getting rid of three palettes, this declutter has freed up a lot of physical space in my collection and has made me feel a bit freed up in my mental space as it relates to my collection as well. 

Weekend Looks: Viseart, Stila, and Colourpop

I haven't had the greatest weekend. And it has been the kind of weekend where I'm realizing what is important and what is not. And as a result, I ended up getting rid of a few items that I haven't been able to get rid of. And that feels nice. 

I still have way too much makeup, but I've been really proud of how I have continually lightened the load, and maybe soon I will be in a place where I have a lot of makeup, but I don't have "way too much" makeup. 

Here are the looks I did this weekend:

Look 1: Viseart Boheme Dream

11 on the lid, 7 blended into the crease, and 10 padded onto the outer corner and on the lower lash line. 

Look 2: Stilla Glitter and Glow Rose Gold and Colourpop Wait for it and Making Moves 

Rose Gold on the lid, Wait for it and Making Moves blended into the crease. 

Viseart Boheme Dream
Status: Decluttered

When I started the day yesterday, this was in the "possible declutter" category. But now it has moved firmly into the bag of decluttered makeup items that is now overgrown. Look, this is a nice palette, but I just don't need it. I should have never purchased it in the first place because I didn't understand why I would need a light, medium, and dark pink, green, and blue. I have other colorful palettes. I have a pink very similar to this in a Viseart palette I love more than this one, so I just don't need it. And yes, I hate to declutter it because it was $80, but keeping it around because it was expensive does nothing for me personally other than to cause stress. And I just don't need that in my life.  

Stilla Glitter and Glow Rose Gold and Colourpop Wait for it and Making Moves 
Status: Keep

I've talked about all of these colors before, so I don't see the need to rehash anything. Instead, I'll just talk about the overall look. I love how this look turned out. I also really liked how the Viseart look turned out, but not as much as this one. And this is what I've been trying to keep in mind as I've been looking at new releases lately, delving into my singles collection, trying indie shadows, and decluttering. I like everything in my collection. I might even "love" everything in my collection. But I don't want this much. I don't need this much. I have variety. I have all the variety I could want. And when I evaluate an eye look I've created, I want to think, "Wow, I love that" rather than "that looks cool." And I love this eye look. And I only want to keep products in my collection that make me feel this way.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

This Week's Looks: Fyrinnae, Tarte, Tom Ford, Too Faced, Laura Mercier, and Ciate London

This was a week of old favorites for me, which was not my intent when I was making choices each day. I just kind of went with whatever I wanted to do, and I ended up going in an incredibly neutral direction this week. 

I've been under a lot of stress recently, and I guess because of that, I just naturally gravitated toward easy, "classic" looks that I knew I loved. And maybe also, because of the stress, I knew these were looks that make me feel good. And maybe I just wanted to feel good. 

Here are five looks I did this week. 

Look 1: Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions 

Rapunzel Had Extensions (over Pixie Epoxy) on the lid and Melt Rust Stack blended into the crease. 

Look 2: Tarte Tartelette in Bloom

Firecracker on the lid, Rebel blended into the crease, and Smokeshow padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 3: Tom Ford Nude Dip

2 on the lid (over Pixie Epoxy), 3 blended into the crease, and 4 padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 4: Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons

Molasses Chip on the lid and Viseart Neutral Matte blended into the crease. 

Look 4: Laura Mercier African Violet and Ciate London Pretty

African Violet on the lid, Ciate London 3 blended into the crease, and Ciate London 4 padded onto the outer corner. 

Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions 
Status: Favorite 

This is the third time I've written about this shadow, so I'll keep this brief. I love this shadow. It is so peachy and shiny and really stands out against my eye color. This shadow definitely requires Pixie Epoxy to be something special, but it's a step I think is worth taking. I paired it with some of the lighter shadows in the Melt Rust Stack, which continues to be a top favorite, and I think the look turned out really pretty. 

Tarte Tartelette in Bloom
Status: Keep

Almost every time I have ever used this palette, I have used Firecracker. Had it not been for this one shadow, I probably would have decluttered this palette. And that's not to say it's a bad palette, because it's not, it's just that it is so neutral that I have all of these colors. I wasn't terribly inspired by this palette when I used it in my one week, one palette project, but I decided to keep it because I liked it enough. And I continue to like it enough, though this was the first time I used it since the one week, one palette project. At the end of the day, I think this is a nice travel palette. I don't travel for long periods of time very often, but I travel to weekend trips enough that I do "require" a travel palette. This is not my go-to travel palette, but I think it is good for this purpose. I have considered decluttering this palette so many times, but I never do. And I'm pretty ruthless when I declutter, and after using it this week, I still want to keep it. So there must be something there for me. 

Tom Ford Nude Dip
Status: Favorite 

I've written about this quad several times as well, so I'll also keep this brief. This is the one Tom Ford quad that I hear people say isn't worth the money, and I guess I can see why they say that (because the colors are so basic), but I also feel like this is one of the only quads that is worth the money. And that's because I think the colors are gorgeous and classic and the texture is incredible. Applied over primer, I think these shadows are incredibly shiny and gorgeous, but applied over a base like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, I think the shadows are stunning. And for $80, I want stunning shadows that I know I will love and wear all the time, and I don't want to waste that money on glitter topcoat shadows. 

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons
Status: Keep

I didn't really know what to call this as these are the depotted shadows from my Chocolate Bon Bons palette. Molasses Chip was one of my favorite shadows in that palette, and even though it was a bronze (which I clearly have a lot of), I still thought it was special enough to depot and keep. And I still feel that way. Even looking at photos, I think this color is incredibly shiny and pretty considering there is only primer under it. I paired it with some shadows from Viseart Neutral Matte, and I found the look really pretty for being so neutral.

Laura Mercier African Violet 
Status: Favorite

This was my favorite shadow from the Artist Palette, and I decided to declutter that palette and instead buy this single shadow. And I am really happy that I did that. I recreated my favorite look from that palette with the Ciate London Pretty palette, and I love how it turned out. I think this was a nice shadow to wear considering how bronze the rest of the week was for me, but I also think it was neutral.

Ciate London Pretty
Status: Favorite

I've mentioned this a lot, but this is my favorite travel palette. I never used this for a one week, one palette, and I think it might be my only palette that I did not use in that project, but I know that I love it. It has three of my favorite lid shades (champagne, gold, and taupe), perfect blending colors (peach and plum), colors to deepen the outer corner, and a matte cream for the brow bone. It really is a perfect palette for me, and it's one that I could use for a longer trip as there are many possible color combinations.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Lorac Pirates of the Caribbean Palette

Lorac has come out with a palette "inspired by" the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. 

And I won't be buying. 

If there was ever a makeup item that I would buy for bullshit nostalgia reasons, it might be something related to Pirates of the Caribbean. This was a worldview-changing movie for me (we're only talking Curse of the Black Pearl), and it remains one of my all-time favorite movies. 

There was no way in hell I was going to see that movie when I saw previews for it—it seemed "old timey" for lack of a better word, fantasy-esque, and violent, which were three things that I hated when I was high school–aged and not something I love now. My friend saw it and loved it, but she and I had vastly different tastes at the time. A bunch of my friends got together for a movie on my birthday—which was supposed to be the Lindsay Lohan Freaky Friday—but this same friend pulled a coup and instead bought a ticket to Pirates. (On my birthday!) I was so upset and begrudgingly bought my ticket, despite her reassurance that she was doing me a favor.

And instantly, it became the best movie I had ever seen because I had not been exposed to many "quality" movies at all. I went back to watch it in the theater another three times, bought it on DVD the moment I could, watched and rewatched it and all the special features (this remains the ONLY DVD that I watched the special features), and I even (and this is true) wrote the dialogue of the entire movie from memory while bored and not paying attention in my history class. 

Curse of the Black Pearl hit me so hard that I sought out every movie Johnny Depp had ever made, which then made me seek out Tim Burton's entire catalogue, which in turn was responsible for my entire graduate education and career path. 

For the record, I saw the second and third movies (I don't even remember what they are called) one time each and hated both, and I haven't seen any of the rest. I'm not even sure what number movie they're at now. But Curse of the Black Pearl is still in my top five favorites and is responsible for many choices I've made in the direction of my life. 

So, again, let me reiterate that if there was EVER a makeup item that I would buy for nostalgia, it would probably be something like this. But I'm not buying it. And do you know why? 

Because I don't need it! 

Adding this expensive, bulky palette to my collection would not enhance my love for that (first) movie, and it would not emphasize the incredible impact it has had on my life. It would just be me giving money to Lorac for the crappy move of capitalizing on my heartstrings to give them money. 

NOPE. Not doing it. 

Let's look at this palette:

This is probably the least-inspired palette I have seen in a long time. This is a collection of neutrals with one orange and one blue. This is also a palette with a ton of browns and creams, because who doesn't have enough of those? 

This is touted as a "Pro" Lorac palette, and I have to call bullshit on that. Lorac isn't my favorite brand for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest complaints I have is that there is a massive quality control issue within the brand. The Pro 1 and Pro 2 palettes have been praised for their great quality, which then made everyone ask the question: "Why aren't all Lorac palettes this good?" The answer was that these palettes had the "pro" formula and all the other ones didn't. The prices on the admittedly lower quality ones were just as high as the Pro, which really rubbed me the wrong way. Then the Pro 3 came out, and there was a formula change. And people started reporting that it wasn't nearly as good as the first two pro palettes. And now it seems that whatever Lorac comes out with, they are claiming it has this better "pro" formula. But, reviews have proven otherwise. Lorac knows that the "pro" formula sells better than anything else in their line, so instead of actually making all of their products high quality, they just claim that they are high quality. Awesome. Way to go. 

This 18-shadow palette is a whopping $52 for 0.36 ounces of product. Let me put that in perspective for you. The Lorac Pro palette is $42 for 16 shadows and 0.51 ounces of product. So, even though you are getting two more shadows, you are getting significantly less product (and Lorac Pro shadows don't have much product in the first place) and you are paying $10 more. I'm sorry, what? In comparison, one of my favorite palettes, Ciate London Pretty, has nine shadows and 0.56 ounces of product for $35. 

The reason for this ridiculous price gouge is because of the Pirates of the Caribbean branding. They have to pay Disney to license the name and likeness, and they still want to make money, so they cut costs in production by making the palette subpar (while claiming that it is the "pro" formula), cut the amount of product you get, and then raise the price. 

All so I can, what? Go down memory lane with one of my favorite movies? I don't think so. 

Frankly, if you wanted to buy a Lorac Pro palette and liked the color scheme, you might as well just get the Lorac Pro 2:

The color schemes aren't exact, but they are pretty close. 

If I bought this palette, it would basically be for this:

Which is to say, just the idea of it. And the thing that pisses me off the most about a release like this is that had this palette come out while I was in high school and scribbling down the entire Curse of the Black Pearl in my history notebook, I would have HAD to have this. I would have bought it the second I could, and probably would have preordered it if that was an option. Lorac would have totally preyed on my love for this movie and sold me an overpriced, underperforming piece of glorified memorabilia. And that makes me disappointed. 

If I want a nostalgic piece of memorabilia for a movie I love, I'll buy a poster or a trinket or something that is made to be looked at and displayed. I won't buy overpriced makeup that it so bulky and uninspired that I'll never use it. Sorry, Lorac, but you're gonna have to try a hell of a lot harder than that. 

Weekend Looks: Fyrinnae, Shiro, and Notoriously Morbid

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I found out yesterday that a Racked article I was interviewed for was published, which was really cool. I think it's really great that anti-hauls and project pans are really picking up steam, and hopefully this will produce a new wave in the beauty industry where we are not constantly inundated with new products and people on YouTube trying to sell us stuff. 

The sun is out in New York City today, which seems to be a rare thing, so I am in a pretty good mood sitting with my coffee. As far as makeup, I'm still using indie shadows—no surprise there. 

Here are the looks I did this weekend. 

Look 1: Fyrinnae Abandoned Hotel 

Abandoned Hotel on the lid (over Pixie Epoxy) and Melt Rust Stack blended into the crease. 

Look 2: Notoriously Morbid Silent Samurai and Shiro Cosmetics Little Bird

Silent Samurai on the lid (over Pixie Epoxy), Little Bird blended into the crease, and Viseart Dark Matte padded onto the outer corner and blended into the crease.

Fyrinnae Abandoned Hotel
Status: Undecided

I absolutely love this color and thought it was stunning, especially when paired with the Melt Rust Stack. I love how it was equal parts green and gold and pulled some of the green tones in my eye color. The only reason that this is marked as an "undecided" shadow instead of a "favorite" shadow is because, on the eye, it looks very similar to Fyrinnae Aztec Gold:

Aztec Gold

Abandoned Hotel

(As a side note, for those of you who are trying to identify duplicate shades in your collection, taking a picture of your makeup is an incredibly helpful tool.)

When I swatch both of these colors on the back of my hand, they look totally different. But on the eye, especially paired with similar colors, I think they look pretty close. I'm still undecided, however, because I do feel Abandoned Hotel is a little less patina than Aztec Gold, and I really love both colors. 

Notoriously Morbid Silent Samurai
Status: Keep

This is a really pretty blue shadow that is almost periwinkle. I paired it will Little Bird, which is a soft pink shade, and a dark blue shadow from Viseart Dark Matte, and I really like how the look turned out. This is one of those looks that, while colorful, still feels really neutral to me. And maybe that's because my definition of neutral has become more liberal since discovering my love of color, but I feel this color is just a step beyond some taupe shades. I've already talked about Little Bird in a previous post, but I'll reiterate to say that this is a really pretty shade, is smooth, and blends really well. Overall, I just really like this look.